Friday, October 10, 2008

Penultimate Paranoia



.. is a new term i think i have coined today. Do pardon me if it already exists.

Penultimate paranoia (P2) is actually the fear that you feel when you are watching the tail end of your favourite TV series. It's the fear of the unknown. The fear of not knowing what would eventually fill that particular weekly spot once the series actually ends. And the fear of never finding one nowhere near as good as the one bidding you farewell.

Being penultimate in nature, this particular fear hits you only at the very end, just an episode or two before the curtains come down. In extreme cases, this fear is said to coincide with season finales as well. And might manifest itself, unnaturally, even while watching rented re-runs. The phenomenon is not confined to television alone. Ask any Pottermaniac. As someone who has not read a single Harry Potter (i know. bite me.), but who waits anxiously for the movies, i am already entering the paranoid zone. It's time for the second last in the series to be released, and after one more, the supply will end.

I am also branded by Bourne. Jason Bourne. As the amnesiac agent swam away from his killers in the very last scene of the very last (or so they say) movie, i couldn't help but feel depressed for days. I feel Bond diehards have an unfair advantage over fans of characters who cannot be re-incarnated in different shapes and sizes of sex appeal, while retaining the oh-so-groovy Brit accent. Bond's universal appeal and the eternal stream of Bond movies have probably made "The name's Bond. James Bond." the most rehearsed lines in front of the mirror, probably with the actors who have played the the sizzling spy leading the count. I know i've said them out loud oftentimes, occasionally without even bothering to replace the James with Jane :)

P2 has various other avatars, as i am slowly discovering. Like the fear of gobbling up the very last sausage too fast before you take a vegan pledge. Or the strangely psychotic expression on the faces of would-be quitters while puffing on what they swear (yet again) is their last cig. Or the feeling you get on the last evening of your insanely expensive, once-in-many-many-many-years dream vacation. Or even the very last bite of that exotic cheese from an unpronounceable European village with the magic cows, which someone charitably decided to partake with you. . .

I must stop now, for i am paranoid about discovering any more things that i don't yet know i am paranoid about!

Oh, and the TV couch awaits with that season finale. Time to break another Bond.

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